The fast-spreading variant of Omicron probably won’t work with the two standard treatments that doctors in the United States rely on for COVID-19.
Antibody drugs produced by Regeneron and Eli Lilly have been used to treat patients.
But leaders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say Omicron is spreading faster than ever before and will become the dominant variant in the coming weeks.
The third drug from GlaxoSmithKline seems to be more effective. However, the drug is not widely available in the US.
For now, federal officials are stockpiling doses for use in the coming weeks. Experts predict Omicron could dominate the outbreak in the US as early as next year.
The Delta variant still causes more than 95 percent of COVID-19 cases in the US, according to the CDC. But CDC leaders say omicron is spreading faster than previous variants and will become the dominant variant within weeks. [vm/pp]